Major Brands Moving to Digital Showrooms
Fusing Websites and Actual Places to Create Digital Showrooms
With growing awareness that purchasing decisions are not only driven online, or driven in a local store, but are frequently driven by a combination of digital and physical interactions, Jaguar Land Rover group have decided to completely modernise their digital strategy and build a new experimental showroom around their website. We could call this a Digital Showroom.
No Hard Sell
Firstly the tactic is to avoid hard selling. Instead purchasing decisions are expected to occur online. Now the showroom’s main purpose is to engage and entice. To assist with that, JLR have located the new store in a swanky part of Westfield shopping centre.
Shoppers browsing around are encoraged to feel at ease and take in the products. Furthermore, instead of salesmen, there are ‘angels’ which JLR intend to create a welcomming atmosphere. Removing sales pressure is probably a result of in-depth marketing research.
Hyundai opened a similar showroom and found that there was very good conversion by visitors subsequently. Over half made a purchase online, it is claimed.
More of these were women.
These brands have concluded that the physical showroom is meant to sow a seed. It is the most important emotional touchpoint. In addition conventional advertising charges the brands perceived value before hand. The Showroom gets you close enough to fall in love. The website is mainly intended to make the sale, as a low pressure environment. JLR’s website makes good use of the normal sale techniques. Overcomming objections by promoting economy, efficiency, and finance options are incorporated seamlessly into the experience. Seeing the products in the flesh in a special showroom creates the emotional connection. Emotional connections are easier to build when they are not stressful, and when there is a physical experience.
If this is the trend, it now seems the role of the store and the website have swapped place. The store is intended to support the website, not the other way around.
It’s an interesting concept and we can expect more and more companies to follow suit.
So we might conclude that going to a shopping centre could prove very expensive in the near future!